The chaos in the Democrats just gets worse. National Treasurer Helen Hodgson has just quit and launched an amazing spray on the budgetary management under Britney’s leadership. We can exclusively bring you her resignation letter which was penned last week and sent to National President Liz Osama.

Democrats National President

September 15 2002

I hereby tender my resignation from my appointments as National Treasurer, Tax Agent and Party Agent of the Australian Democrats. I am resigning as I can no longer perform my duties effectively due to breakdowns beyond my control in the financial controls and processes.

Specifically:

1. National Officers are regularly failing to comply with budgetary processes and limitations. The National Executive is complicit in this by failing to take action when such failures are reported.

2. The National Office is failing to comply with basic financial procedures and controls. I can exercise no control over income or expenditure until reported to me or deposited in the bank. When I have reported breaches the National Executive has failed to take action.

3. The National Management Committee is failing in its obligation to administer the day to day conduct of the party, instead acting as a political wing of the party.

4. For several years the National Executive has failed to give a financial strategic direction, in spite of repeated requests, instead authorising expenditure and projects on an ad-hoc basis.

5. Over the last two years the National Executive has consistently acted contrary to my advice when approving expenditure and projects. My approach to financial management is clearly contrary to the prevailing view, and a new Treasurer may have a more compatible style.

This resignation will take effect from the conclusion of the November National Executive meeting, scheduled for 9 – 10 November 2002. My resignation from this date will allow me to complete::

* Preparation of the 2002 accounts for audit,

* the Australian Electoral Commission Return due 20 October 2002;

* the Business Activity statement due 28 October 2002.

The National Executive should take steps to appoint the following positions at the November meeting:

* National Treasurer (and bookkeeper if the role is to be divided)

* Party Agent

* Tax Agent

Sincerely,

Helen Hodgson

National Treasurer

One interpretation on Hodgson’s departure

Dear Crikey,

When the introduction of the G.S.T. was announced and the lead up to the 1998 election I did some research.

In this research I found a Time Line in the Parliamentary Library.

I also searched the Democrats web site and found a press release issued by Helen Hodgson (W.A. Division) stating the Democrats were calling for changes to the Tax Laws.

It was a week after this press release that Mr. Howard made definite statements about the introduction of the G.S.T..

My conclusion was that this press release was a signal that the Democrat Senators would vote for a G.S.T.

I have read in the last few days that Helen Hodgson, W.A. Democrats Treasurer has resigned.

A report in the SMH (21/9/02) that Senator Murray has ordered new stationery which does not identify him as a Democrats Senator.

My conclusion is that immediately after the Democrats Ballot has been announced the Gang of Four will announce the formation of a new party with Senator Lees which I suppose they will try to leave the new Democrats leader with no party to rule.

I presume Helen Hodgson is readying herself to go with them.

Regards

S. McDonald

Peter Fray

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